Its in the Bag

Materials

  • 42cm (16 1⁄2in) square of main fabric
  • 42cm (16 1⁄2in) square of contrast lining fabric
  • 42cm (16 1⁄2in) square of thin wadding
  • Two large buttons
  • One ponytail hair band or covered elastic band

Finished Size

Approx 18 x 23cm (7 x 9in)

Skill Level

Beginner

You can download a copy of the original magazine pages for this project here, It's in the Bag

If you are looking for a quick gift to make or something small to sew while on your travels, these little bags are perfect. Clever folding creates an amazing seven pockets inside the bags. Use them to hold makeup, hair scrunchies or sewing notions. Cute bags like these would be very popular at a school or charity fundraiser, so why not gather your supplies and a few friends together and make a big boxful of bags to sell for a good cause?

Sewing the Makeup Bag

  1. Stack the three squares on top of each other as follows: wadding first, main fabric right side up, then the lining fabric on top, right side down. Pin the layers together securely.
  2. Hand or machine stitch all the way around the stack of squares, about 1⁄4in away from the edge. Leave a 5in gap in the middle of one side for turning through.
  3. Clip the corners without snipping your stitches, turn through to the right side and slipstitch the gap closed. Press gently, without flattening the wadding.
  4. Quilt a straight or decorative stitch along the quilting lines shown in Figure 1. You can use a hand embroidery stitch or a fancy machine stitch if you have one.
Figure 1
Figure 1: Quilting lines and first fold

Making the Pockets

  1. Fold the stitched square on the diagonal with the lining fabric inside, so that the two long quilting lines meet at D-B, as shown in Figure 2 and the shorter quilted line is at the back.
Figure 2
Figure 2: Fig 2 The quilting lines meet at D-B
  1. Next fold corner A across to meet at B, as in Figure 3. Crease firmly but do not press. Open out again and sew a straight stitch along the crease line just made.
  2. Fold across A to B again and slipstitch the right hand fold to the front of the bag, from the bottom up to B. You have now made three little pockets.
  3. Next fold corner C across to meet at D, as in Figure 4. Crease firmly but do not press. Open out again and sew a straight stitch along the crease line just made.
Figure 2-8
Figure 2-8
  1. Fold C back across to D, but do not slipstitch in place. Make a fold from E up to F as in Figure 4 and crease firmly. Sew a straight stitch along the crease line just made, from E to F, as in Figure 5.
  2. Open out the small triangle just formed into a kite shape as in Figure 6. Pin it down and slipstitch along the right side of the shape to secure it. Pin the kite shape to the front centre of the bag.
  3. Slipstitch the left side of the kite shape to the front of the bag, and all the way down to the bottom right corner. Fold down the top flap of the kite and press, as in Figure 7. You have now made seven pockets.

Finishing the Make Up Bag

Figure 9
Figure 9
  1. Sew one of the buttons just below point E on the front of the bag. Fold Flap 1 down as in Figure 8. Fold Flap 2 down and sew the second button to the tip of Flap 2.
  2. Sew the ponytail or covered elastic band to one of the buttons. Loop the elastic over the second button to close the bag.

Making the Notions Bag

Notions Bag
Notions Bag
  1. Follow steps 1 to 4 of Sewing the Makeup Bag. Fold the stitched square on the diagonal with the lining fabric inside, so that the two long quilting lines meet at D-B, as shown in Figure 2.
  2. Fold corner A across to meet at B, as in Figure 3. Crease firmly but do not press. Open out again and sew a straight stitch along the crease line just made. Fold A back across to B and then fold the tip of A back to meet D. Crease, pin and then stitch in place, along the edges of the folds.
  3. Next fold corner C across to meet at D, as in Figure 4. Crease firmly but do not press. Open out again and sew a straight stitch along the crease line just made. Fold C back across to D and then fold the tip of C back to meet B. Crease, pin and then stitch in place, along the edges of the folds.
  4. Sew on the buttons and ponytail band as in steps 1 and 2 of Finishing the Makeup Bag. Annie added a small padded heart under the bottom button, as a tiny pincushion. You could do the same, or you could stitch a corner of the bag to your favourite pincushion with a length of ribbon.
  5. To make a pin cushion draw a heart shape and cut out two from fabric. Place right sides together, stitch leaving a gap for turning, clip at the dip of the heart. Stuff firmly with wadding and slip stitch closed.

First published in Popular Patchwork February 2008